I’ll be updating my release schedule to be more spread out.
Slow Life Frontier – Sat, Thur
Growth Cheat – Tue
Chapter 33: Al obtains an excellent sword
“It will be difficult but do your best.”
“Thank you very much.”
Al bowed toward the customer as he left.
Currently, Al was seated at the counter for Red’s shop to tend to the store.
During this week, many times neither Red and Lit were around the shop.
Normally, either one of them would stay behind in the shop but today, Al tended to the shop instead of the two of them.
As Al did not have much knowledge in medicine, if there were any questions on which medication would be best, he could only write down the symptoms and promise that Red would deliver it to them when he returned.
The number of customers was not very high and they did not come steadily.
But contrary to Al’s assumption, there were a lot more frequent customers than expected so Al had a hard time trying to look for the medicines.
“One bottle of white berry paste please.”
While there were some who pointed at the medicine they wanted on the display shelf, there were also some who directly mentioned the name of the medicine.
Although there were clear labels on the shelf for each of the medicine, it was intimidating to look for them while the customer waited for him.
“Hmm, ah here it is, white berry paste.”
He exhaled as he finally found it.
Al handed the product over with a smile, feeling relieved that he handed it over safely.
“It will be 2 Peryl!”
The magician-like man placed eight pieces of Quarter Peryl silver coins on the counter.
“Did the Guards treat you badly?”
The man who placed the silver coin murmured.
The man had a small stature and wore magician-like clothes stained with smudges. He carried a thin and long cloth bag over his shoulder. Al recalled that he met that man in South Marsh before.
“It’s because the Guards hate us South Marsh residents. They don’t seem like they are trying to catch the criminal. More importantly, Al, they would probably try to arrest you by using the excuse that you lied.”
In Al’s mind, he could see the scene of Tanta getting arrested a week ago.
Although, at that time, the Guard Captain Moen apologized …
“If anything happens, look for help from Big Hawk-san. That man is ruthless toward his enemies but kind to fellow South Marsh residents. Your parents are also at Big Hawk’s place right now.”
” … But father told me to stay here.”
“I understand your father’s feelings. The Guards are always aiming to make Big Hawk-san and us pay for it. It might be a safer choice to stay away.”
The man leaned forward and grabbed Al’s shoulder.
Al unconsciously tensed his body.
“But that is wrong. Al, you are being targeted by the Guards. They are monitoring this shop.”
“Monitoring? That’s impossible …”
“Why do you stick to that belief when you don’t know anything for sure? Don’t you know that to the Guards, the easiest solution would be that you, Al, had lied?”
” …… ”
The man squeezed Al’s shoulder.
A tinge of pain ran through his shoulder.
“Oop, sorry. I did not mean to scare you. I am only worried about you.”
The man smiled with a crooked grin.
He stroked Al’s shoulder to reassure him and pulled his hand away.
“Well, just know that Big Hawk-san is worried about you. If you sense danger to your life … or well, if you get sick of doing nothing, come over to the mansion. You know the place right?”
“I am a resident of South Marsh after all.”
It was a mansion that stood out-of-place, towering over the rows of dilapidated houses in South Marsh.
All South Marsh residents knew Big Hawk, the number two in the Thieves Guild who served as the boss of the South Marsh district.
Everyone who lived in South Marsh had their meager earnings deducted and collected by Big Hawk. In exchange, he managed the self-policing of the South Marsh district that has a bad public order which even the Guards hated … or that was the pretense.
To be honest, Al did not have a good impression of that person.
“Try telling the mansion guard that you are Al. We will entertain you with kisses to the forehead and warm soups in the mansion.”
“Th-thank you very much.”
The door chime rang.
It was a nurse from Newman’s clinic. She probably came to purchase medicine.
“Oop, I can’t obstruct business. Sorry for taking your time. See you. We’ll be waiting … ah, right.”
The man placed the bag he had on his back on the counter.
“You awakened your Divine Protection recently right? I heard from your father. Weapon Master. That’s a big deal. This is just between us, but regardless of age, when your Divine Protection awakens, it shows that the Gods have recognized that you have grown past being a child who did whatever you wanted to an adult who can fulfill the role they give you. That is our custom.”
“This is the farewell gift for that. For the Weapon Master rising star we hold our expectations for. If you grew up in South Marsh, then use that strength for the sake of South Marsh. In that way, we can survive through these miserable circumstances.”
Upon opening the bag, there was a single shotel inside.
Al unsheathed the blade slightly from the sheath and unconsciously raised his voice when he saw the radiance.
“A sharp sword made with Crimson Steel and enchanted with strengthening magic. We acquired it from a merchant from the blade town known as Igosu Island.”
“I can’t accept something this valuable!”
The price was probably beyond 3000 Peryl.
It was a kind of excellent sword that only C-rank adventurers who struggled through difficulties could get their hands on.
“It’s fine. It is our blessings toward the future Weapon Master. To the God that bestowed upon you your Divine Protection.”
Before Al could return the weapon, the man smiled with a crooked grin and quickly left the shop.
After the man left, the nurse that worked at Newman’s clinic came over to the counter with a worried look.
“Are you all right? Did you know that man?”
” … It seemed that he lived in the same town as I did.”
Al could only manage to explain it that way.
After a while, Red returned.
“Welcome back, Red-san.”
“Oo, I’m back.”
“I guess she won’t be returning for a while.”
Al showed a disappointed expression when he heard that.
The sword teachings from Lit during the evening was something Al looked forward to more than anything at this moment.
“You won’t be able to train with Lit today huh … I see, all right, I’ll be your opponent today.”
“I can’t use a shotel so I won’t be able to teach you the way to use the sword but … it might be good to experience fighting against other kinds of weapons.”
Still, Al certainly made light of Red in his heart.
After all, his regular training opponent was the Hero Lit.
He somewhat understood that Red was a sword-user that did not fit within the D-rank bracket but there was still a large disparity when compared to the Hero.
(Moreover, Red-san can’t use a shotel.)
He still wore a copper sword on his waist.
It was a cheap article that a fastidious person would never choose.
The price was probably around 5 Peryl.
It was something that could not be compared against the excellent shotel that cost over 3000 Peryl which he received today.
Without noticing, Al was caught up in such thoughts.
After moving to the backyard, Red picked up the broom that was propped up against the wall.
“Very well, this will do.”
Red had a single broom in his hand.
He didn’t even pick up a wooden sword.
“N-no, well, weapon?”
“Your weapon is on your waist.”
“Not that! Red’s weapon!”
“A single broom is more than enough.”
Blood immediately rose to Al’s head.
Even he could not understand why he was so infuriated. However, he understood further in the future that it was because of the impulse from his Divine Protection.
He was a Weapon Master that used a shotel. He believed that it was the strongest weapon.
Despite that, his opponent had nothing but a broom as a weapon and felt that it was enough.
How could he forgive that? He was making light of the shotel!
The Weapon Master Divine Protection whispered that to Al.
Without waiting for the signal to start, Al drew his sword as he sprinted.
Even though it was a dull-bladed shotel made with soft metal for training purposes, it was still a lump of metal. There would be injuries if he attacked using all his might.
However, at that time, Al was lured by the desire to swing his shotel with all his strength without any hesitation.
Al, who should have been sprinting toward Red, suddenly realized that he was staring up into the sky dyed red by the sunset.
It seemed that he had somehow fallen to the ground without knowing.
Al looked up at Red in confusion. The surprise blew away the impulses from his Divine Protection.
“A Weapon Master is strong against fear and confusion but is weak against the feeling of anger. You must first discipline yourself.”
“Eh, ah, eh?”
“I swept your leg as you charged straight at me without any thought.”
He didn’t see anything.
Even after listening to his explanation, Al still could not imagine how he was knocked down.
“A broom is certainly a third-rate substitute item as a weapon. However, it has a longer reach compared to a shotel. If you rush in without any strategy, it is natural that the broom would reach you first.
Al leaped up.
Red laughed happily.
The anger from before was no longer displayed on Al’s face. It had been replaced by the burning passion in his heart and the cold headedness of honed steel as he pointed his sword at Red.
“Very good, a person with a frame of mind like that will make progress.”
Red readied his broom to face Al who was steadily pointing his sword at him without rushing.
“Sword Art! Sword Wave!”
Al shouted as he swung his sword and shockwaves in the form of blades surged out.
“Oh wow, you’ve already acquired martial arts huh?”
Red lightly swung his broom and easily repelled Al’s sword wave, causing it to disappear.
Al thought he had plenty of space between them but by using the gap he showed when releasing the sword wave, Red immediately closed in and the tip of the broom was thrust in front of his eyes. He could no longer count the number of times that had happened.
“Try to refrain from taking any more martial art skills. Martial arts may be flashy but you should focus on your fundamental ability first. A means to attack remotely might be valuable to a Weapon Master that can’t use a bow or anything else but right now, prioritizing the technique to safely close in and fight has greater merit.”
He finally could not resist from using a martial art as he couldn’t find a way to close the distance to Red but even that was easily defended against.
“Very good, let’s end it here for today.”
“What is it? Do you have a question?”
“Why are you still a D-rank adventurer even though you are so strong?”
Lit’s strength left people astonished but Red’s strength was unfathomable.
Al may be a complete novice, but after squaring off against Red, he understood that Red was a transcendent fighter comparable to Lit.
“Hmm. I just feel that there is no need to aim for power and authority just because a person is strong.”
“I am having fun now. Running a shop together with Lit, occasionally teaching kids like Al the basics, giving a hand to those in need around me … I am enjoying a life like that.”
“Bu-but, isn’t it better to live your life … getting the respect of many, fulfilling your Divine Protection role, leaving your name in a major part of history, becoming a great hero!?”
Red laughed as he found it amusing.
“Just a while back, you were uneasy with your Divine Protection and said that you would have preferred the Divine Protection of the Warrior instead but it looks like you have already completely adapted to your Divine Protection.”
“Eh, ah … I guess you’re right.”
Al was astounded by the changes in his own thinking.
Without realizing, Al was now striving to become a hero.
“It’s fine, that is also living. To live by the sword and make a name, to die by the sword and leave your name behind. That is not that bad too.”
” …… ”
“But, I am different. That is all there is to it.”
“I think I am, currently, indebted to that man … Big Hawk. I received a sword from that man.”
“It is a valuable fine sword and with it, I can become a hero like Lit-san. That is what I am thinking … but whether it is something I actually want myself, or it is something my Divine Protection wants … I do not know.”
“Even I can’t grasp the inner workings of a person’s heart. However, yes … if you are troubled, try listening to your sword.”
“Listening to my sword?”
“Whether it wishes to cut many opponents or whether it will only cut to protect the ones you hold dear … that was something I heard in the past from an acquaintance skilled with the spear.”
” … I see, thank you very much!”
“Sure. Now then, it’s about time for dinner.”
Staring at his training sword, Al nodded strongly.
The blade mirrors the heart.
Through the blade, one can speak with their heart.
The Crusader, Theodora, assistant instructor in spear arts for the Cathedral Knights, taught them to do so when they were troubled by the impulses from their Divine Protection.
In the ascetic lifestyle of the Cathedral Knights, there were many who were in conflict with the impulses of their respective Divine Protections.
The Half-Elf Yarandorara and I were surprised when Theodora, with her model warrior expressionless face, started laughing after she recalled her struggles when teaching a young girl with the Divine Protection of the Wild Child.
I could clearly remember the joyous look on Theodora’s face when she said that even though she caused her a lot of hardship, the girl became a Cathedral Knight that she could be proud of.
“A sword as a present huh …”
I should investigate that sword later.